Ten Misconceptions Everyone Has About Theater Arts Majors

Telling people I'm a theater arts major almost always raises a fair amount of questions. Perhaps it's the result of living in a post-Glee world, but I find myself and other majors getting stereotyped as lazy students who don't put much effort towards their degree. So, I decided to break down ten misconceptions people have about the students who choose to spend their college careers studying theaters. 

  1. We all love Shakespeare

While I certainly think every major has an appreciation and respect for Shakespeare, he's certainly not everyone's favorite playwright. In fact, there's a fair majority that find his work to be overrated. And some, like myself, just don't find enjoyment in many of his works. 

     2. We all love musicals

Being a theater arts major does not automatically mean that one is a musical theater major. In fact, there are majors who actually hate musical theater with a burning passion. Theater consists of a lot of different genres and sub-categories. 

     3. We all want to be actors

"Theater Arts" is not a performance major. It's a major that combines literature and technical skills with aspects of performance and public speaking. A theater arts degree is diverse and can lead people down radically different paths. One major may aspire for the stage, but another may aspire for a role behind the scenes, and neither one is better than the other. 

   4. We're all divas and have huge egos

There's no denying that studying theater arts demands a lot of confidence and ambition, but most of us are very humble with our craft and love to learn from watching and working with others. After all, it's a collaborative field, and if a person refuses to let go of their ego, their time is only being wasted. 

   5. We're exclusive to our theater friends

Since most of us are social people, we like hanging out with our friends from all over campus even more than we like inviting new people to join in on theater activities. We may work together a lot, but that doesn't mean we want to be around each other all the time. 

    6. We don't care about anything but theater

If we only cared about theater, we would literally go insane. A bio major can't spend their entire college career caring about bio, so obviously a theater arts major can't only care about theater. After all, why do you think so many of us are double majors?

   7. We're disillusioned about our futures

In reality, most of us are very aware of the risks we take in pursuing work in the entertainment industry. We work very hard to build our resumes, get experience, make connections, and find internships that help us land jobs by graduation. It can be a difficult field to break into, but we are always working hard to achieve our future and utilize our skills in any way we possibly can, even if it's a different job. 

   8. We all secretly hate each other

Working in theater is like working with your family. We may drive each other crazy, and there may be some drama, but at the end of the day we're there to support and lift each other up, even if that means exerting a little tough love. If there's any hate, it's specifically an individual's problem. 

   9. Our activities and shows are just for "fun"

Theater productions and activities take a lot of work, time, and organization. Rehearsals are stressful and last hours. They can both physically and mentally exhaust the actors, directors, and crew. Theater productions may be fun to perform and execute, but we work very hard when performing them. Besides, these activities are all opportunities to build our resumes, which need to be full of experience by the time we graduate.

   10. We get nothing out of our education because it's "easy"

No matter what school you go to, a degree in theater is only dependent on what a student is willing to put in. Our education is only easy if we choose it to be easy, and a lot of us work hard every day to improve ourselves and our craft. It's a lot of time and hard work, but it's worth it to all of us.